How can I reuse or recycle glue stick tubes?

glue stickWe’ve had an email from Brett, saying:

Hi, I saw your lip balm story last week and it reminded me about something. We go through loads of Pritt Stick at work. What can we do with those empty tubes?

I’ve contacted the company that makes Pritt Stick about the recycling side of things but until they get back to me, does anyone have any reusing ideas?

Office or school related ideas would be best as I suspect that’s where they’re used in the largest quantities but any ideas would be welcome. :)

(Photo by gradient)

(By the way, would it make me sound like a wannabe glue sniffer if I mention how much I’m now craving a smell of UHU magic glue sticks after seeing pictures of them in my picture search? ;)

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23 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle glue stick tubes?”

  1. Lynsey says:

    The only thing I can think of is to cut the lids down so that they are a lot shallower and to pop a picture in it, bit of magnet on the back and voila – a fancy magnet for your fridge. They would make great presents if you chose the images to suit you recipient!

  2. Dave says:

    How about giving them a good wash, filling them up with cordial and putting them in the freezer. Then when frozen, take the stick and knob out the bottom of the tube and you have lollies! Only thing I’m not sure about is how water-tight those things tend to be.

  3. Trish says:

    Pour melted crayon pieces into it. Make it into a crayon.

  4. If they’re small ones, try making your own lip balm and filling them full of that. Or maybe if you’re into cycling, fill one full of grease for keeping in the saddle toolkit. If you’re into camping, they’ll keep your matches dry.

  5. lennyb says:

    try this. clean out an old gluestick
    then remove the guts what you have left is a tube and a screwcap or a push on cap.
    take the cap from another identical stick and glue it to the other end of the tube . now you have a little tube that can be used to hold various things{money,toothpicks,survival kit, etc}
    dont forget to recycle the leftover bits.

  6. jordan says:

    ellmers has a program

  7. angela hunter says:

    You could reuse your old glue stick by making it into a retractable blusher/ face powder brush. Clean the old glue stick out, use scrap fabric and old necklace beads stuck on with pva to cover the writing on the cover. Cover the lid in a similar way. Cut the head off a blusher/small paint brush drill a hole down the centre of the remains of the handle and stick it on the retractable sprial part in the glue stick container so that the head can be full retracted when not in use. PVA should work for this. Show your friends, and encourage them to reduce, reuse and recycle.

  8. Amberjet says:

    I can’t remember the website where I saw the idea, but you can fill it with melted butter and then keep it in the fridge for use on toast, corn on the cob, etc.

  9. ??? says:

    the crayon was great. thanks for the info.

  10. Lizzy says:

    use them to fill with homemade deodorant (about the consistency of slightly ‘sandy’ lip balm) ….I know I thought ‘eeew gross’ when I came across making my own deo – but now I’m smelling incredibly fresh.

    (In case you wanted to know , I make it from very finely ground chalk powder, bicarbonate of soda ground very very finely in a pestle and mortar, enough coconut oil for it to stick together, and a few drops of tea tree oil)

  11. Heather Jenkins says:

    I am always looking for empty glue stick containers for my work with children with behaviour problems. I use them to hide little log books and memory joggers and they keep them in their pockets. I will gladly take them off your hands, please get in touch!!

    • Jo Turpin says:

      Hi Heather,

      I work in a primary school and, as you can imagine, we get through quite a few glue sticks (although not as many now the budget is a bit tight).
      We are also a keen eco school and would be very glad to forward our empty glue sticks to you. (They are sometimes in a bit of a mess.)
      Please email me if you would like us to forward our supply to you. We would only be too happy to help.

      Look forward to hearing from you.

      Jo Turpin

    • Janet Ashford says:

      I lead my school’s Eco work and would love to find someone who can take spent glue sticks off my hands. We are a high school based in South East Wales. Please get in touch if you can help

  12. I Brand says:

    Fill empty tubes with melted paraffin wax and keep them in an airtight container with waterproof matches. Place this container with your camping supplies or emergency kit. Paraffin is the product used in fire starters; available in your local grocer’s canning isle. Simply trim off a little onto the lower pieces of wood (even damp wood) and light ‘er up! Paraffin guarantees your fire will light every time. Great for fireplaces, BBQ pits, and and a whole lot more. Paraffin can be used as a lubricant like WD40 in places where WD40 won’t work; such as a light bulb that won’t screw into its socket. However, when lubing a light bulb, be sure to wipe off any excess as the product is highly flammable yet safe enough to eat. Did you know it’s in most every candy bar you consume? A lot of other products, too! Paraffin is one of those versatile products you simply can’t live without. You can also use them as jewelry travel cases to keep your necklaces from tangling as long as pendants are small enough to fit inside the tube. And how about using it as a money camouflage product? Nobody will every know where you’re hiding that folded $100 bill for emergency purposes! Place it inside your boots that are also in your emergency kit. These are off the top of my head but feel free to run an engine search on the uses of paraffin and HAPPY RECYCLING!

  13. Joanne says:

    Personally, I like to reuse glue bottles and glue sticks, and what I find easy for little children is to put their artwork scrolled up inside the glue bottle. It’s really great, not complaining about artwork all over the place. This keeps it easy for children and organized for grown-ups.

  14. Lisa Rearick says:

    Make Stain Sticks–
    1/2 cup finely grated Fels Naptha soap, 8 tsp each of washing soda and borax, 1 Tbls vinegar, 2 Tbls water, 1 Tbls original blue Dawn.

    Put everything but the Dawn in a small pot and heat through on medium. It should look like thick pudding and leave marks from the spoon drips. Reduce heat and “cook” about 3 minutes more. Let cool about 5 minutes. Pour into a measuring cup (or piping bag) and fill tubes. Let cool 4-6 hours. Cap. To use, wet stain, rub with stick. Before laundering, wet stain again and work between thumbs.

  15. Lia says:

    clean empty glue stick holder, make DIY glue/homemade glue recipe, and you have refillable glue stick

    • Eve says:

      Sounds good and that’s how I came to this site on my Google search, but as of yet have not found how to make the homemade glue solid enough to say inside the recycled tube. Any ideas?

  16. Suzette says:

    I know I’m a little late to the conversation but what about doing the DIY sidewalk chalk in the tube? That way hands don’t get as chalky. Not sure if you can use the same chalk on a chalkboard but if so then maybe empty chapstick tubes could serve the same purpose on a smaller scale? :)

  17. Ava says:

    I clean glue stick holders to keep non-drying homemade play-dough in that way when you’re in the car or at a restaurant it’s easy to pull out and
    and let kids play with.

  18. Victoria says:

    You can put glitter in it! 😊

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